In The Netherlands the Italian formation The Watch is a pretty popular band. I even noticed that Dutch symphomaniac Ko ‘Tattoo’ Molenaar is mentioned in the booklet of this album “for his arm”, a nice inside joke!
I have seen The Watch several times since their early years and was also in the crowd during their acclaimed performance on the Symforce II Festival in The Netherlands, part of the 2008 tour that is now available on CD.
Their pleasant and melodic sound alternates between 1970-1973 Genesis-era (from mellow with acoustic guitars and flute to bombastic with bass pedals, Hackett-inspired guitarwork, organ and Mellotron) and early IQ (compelling with powerful interplay between moving guitar and heavy Trons). The emphasis in the tasteful seven compositions is on creating intense, often Mellotron-drenched atmospheres rather than complexity and inventive arrangements. The enthusiastic and often sympathetic singer, Simone Rossetti has the same melancholic undertone as Peter Gabriel, and only his accent during some songs reveals he’s not the original! And an original song is the dreamy Riding The Elephant because of its electronic-oriented climate with howling guitar and majestic violin-Mellotron. Halfway through the medley Twilight Alehouse/Another Life we can enjoy a bombastic 24-carat symphonic rock sound with lush Mellotron, a deep bass pedal sound and a sensitive guitar solo, with goose bumps added in for good measure. But the absolute highlight for me on this live album is the final track Berlin 1936: starting with the dreamy vocals, then a mid-tempo with bombastic interplay between organ and guitar, wonderful Mellotron drops and finally the ultimate symphonic rock sound featuring heartmoving guitarwork with volume pedal, bass pedals, choir-Mellotron and Hammond organ - you can’t ask for more!
I am very pleased with The Watch Live because in my opinion their sound on stage is much more powerful and captivating than on the studio-albums. It’s a given that many early Genesis and IQ fans will be delighted about this live album.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Paul Watson)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013